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Old Apr 02, 2002, 02:40 AM
Int'l Slope Observer
webguyjv's Avatar
Fremont, CA
Joined Oct 2001
1,887 Posts
Anyone Ever Make a Bigger Wing for the DAW Dragonette?

I'm delighted with my DAW Dragonette Micro HLG. I've been flying it now for about a month and I think I'm finally starting to understand how to get good flights with it. I just love the small size of the plane -- especially with my modified bolt-on wing. This thing packs into a really small area

In terms of getting acclimated to this plane, it was a bit of a transition from my DAW Schweizer 1-26 2-meter. I guess I kind of missed having ailerons ;-)

So now I'm having fun with this little plane, but I keep having this nagging notion in the back of my mind that maybe it would stick a bit better if I could build a new poly wing for it that has a greater wingspan. Maybe something like 42" or so.

I'm not a designer -- just a beginner pilot, so I really don't know if any of this is aerodynamically feasible. All I know is that I think the Dragonette feels more like a light lift sloper than a sailplane. Looking at it, it appears to have a much smaller wingspan to fuse lenght aspect ration than typical sailplanes.

If anyone has any thoughts or experience on this subject, I would love hearing from you.

Happy Flying ;-)

webguyjv
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Old Apr 21, 2002, 09:17 AM
Registered User
Bradbury, Australia
Joined Mar 2002
159 Posts
dragonette..?

have been considering buying a dragonette. but after reading your thread am curious as to its efficiency as a HLG with the stock wing lenghth.what was the AUW of your model.are they easy to put together.what flight times were you getting with a hand launch?....regards freebird.
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Old Apr 21, 2002, 12:55 PM
Int'l Slope Observer
webguyjv's Avatar
Fremont, CA
Joined Oct 2001
1,887 Posts
Hello Freebird ;-)

I have never weighed my DAW Dragonette, but I'm guessing it's slightly heavier than the spec. 5.5 oz. AUW. I have done the following things different from the instructions:

- I installed Hitec HS-50 servos (lighter than spec.)
- I installed a Hitec 535 receiver w/o case (a bit heavier than spec.)
- I installed 4-100mah NiMH cells (lighter than the spec. NiCD cells)
- I covered the wing with ultracote (heavier)
- I cut lightening holes in the empennage (lighter)
- I covered the empennage with clear ultracote (heavier than the spec. silkspan)
- I made the wing a bolt-on construction with two nylon 6-32 screws (possibly heavier than the spec. glued-on with goop construction)

OK, so that's why there may be a weight difference.

My whole point in starting this thread was because I feel the plane has flight characteristics a bit more like a sloper. What I mean is that I've seen some 1.5m HLGs that have wing-to-fuse aspect rations more like a conventional sailplane (long wings) and they seem to stay up a bit longer in light lift.

I'm not stating that the Dragonette doesn't stay up in light lift. I think it floats much better in light lift than the DAW 1-26 HLG. I have flown it on days when there is basically no lift at all. On the worst days, I can launch and make maybe two passes before I have to land.

On the other hand, this plane is incredibly rugged for an MHLG. I have dorked it in many times and the worst damage I have done to it is that sometimes the empanage has come off of the graphite fiber boom (it's just held on with CA by spec.).

I have also noticed that when I fly around HLG pilots, they often put their planes back in the car when the winds get stronger while I stay out and fly. I think this is because I learned to fly saiplanes on the slope and I think I understand how to work the winds better, AND this plane can take the stress of heavy lift better.

One day I was at Coyote Hills Regional Park, and my sloper's developed problems (one was crashed by a beginner pilot and the other had a dead battery) and the only plane airworthy was the Dragonette. Even thought the wind was around 20 mph, I flew the Dragonette and it flew well. It flitted around like a butterfly on the wind, but I was able to keep it in control and even land it -- in strong winds!

I called Dave Sanders about this, and he confirmed that this little plane can fly in heavy lift, but he recommended that on heavy lift days, to add ballast weight (taping weight at the CG) to make it more stable in heavy lift.

I asked Dave about building a longer wing and he felt that that might not be a great improvement. He did, however, recommend that I install little plastic winglets on the tips of the wing. These are constructed something like the winglets you see on Zagis and other flying wings. Just a little triangular piece of thin plastic (not the thicker coroplast -- maybe the thicknes of a credit card or so -- just so it's stiff). He said this would make the plane stick a bit better in light lift.

This plane flies very well. I think I was under the misconception that longer wings would make it stay aloft longer in light lift. I'm going to try the little winglets and see if this is an improvement.

Happy Flying ;-)

webguyjv
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Last edited by webguyjv; Apr 21, 2002 at 01:01 PM.
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